I remember a time in my life when I used to feel miserable when I didn’t have any plans for Christmas and New Years. I had barely broken through the shell of adolescence and was burgeoning with the desire for self-discovery and experimentation. So, I made it a point to never have no plans.
And plans I made. It included everything that I was curious about – people, places, experiences, parties, ambiguous edible things, whatever the world offered me. All with a pinch of responsibility of course (pros of having anxiety, it keeps me in check). There wasn’t anything that was left unturned.
Yet on this very last day of 2017, I’m sitting alone in my bedroom writing this while the family whose house I’m renting a room from, is laughing joyously and clinking glasses downstairs. I have no plans of joining them nor am I going out.
So, it comes to full circle. Clad in pyjamas, with not a single drop of alcohol in my body, writing on New Years eve about how I feel about having no plans.
But here’s what’s different – I don’t feel miserable. Sure, I’ve teared up a bit calibrating my thoughts to write this (that’s for another blog post), but here I am unaffected by my apathy for the festivities.
Heck, I’ve come a long way. So, let’s do what we all do when the end of a year rolls around.
THINGS I LEARNT/DONE IN 2017
1. I AM MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE
This I came to discover as I was going through clinical depression. Yes it’s hard and it’s easy to give in, to lose hope, to relinquish control to doctors and medication. But truth is, it really is all you. I think we sometimes underestimate how much power we hold in ourselves. Here I learnt how much is achievable when you really put your mind to it.
2. THE WORLD REALLY IS YOUR OYSTER
I think 2017 was the year I carpe the hell out of the diem. I quit my dream job as a copywriter, tapered off my depression meds without telling my psychiatrist, dragged myself to gym at 7AM for three months, recklessly booked trips to Japan and Europe barely a week apart to rest (it was hellishly exhausting, I will probably never do it again), bared my soul to my therapist, splurged on a PS4 (best decision ever) and challenged myself in every way at my new job. I’m still shucking oysters to find my pearl but at least I’ve got oysters to eat.
3. IT GETS WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER
It’s natural for us to be averse to discomfort or uncertainty. It’s human nature. But I learnt that when you rise above that, you really see the forest for the trees. There’s no greater teacher than pain or mistakes.
4. LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND YOURSELF
There’s no better person to tell you who you are than yourself. When talking to people, I found it odd that many can’t describe what are their passions, strengths or purpose. My journey with depression gave me the opportunity to dig deep into my fears, worries and uncertainty. And because of that it helped me see who I really am – flaws, faults and all. Hard to accept sure, but when you know what your shortcomings are, you’ll know your strengths.
And my resolutions for 2018? I don’t know, that list is ever growing.